27 Nov 2009

Happy 2nd birthday (adjusted)

We made it.

Depending on who you listen to, me or the doctors, the girls due date was 2 years ago tomorrow or yesterday. I'm going to stop correcting their age now, not because I believe the "they catch up by the age of 2" crap but because I think at this age it's not as important. The difference between the abilities of a 2 year old and a 2 and a quarter year old is not much!

Happy "should have been" birthday Monkeys!

26 Nov 2009

stamping and talking

The encouraging thing about talking to our therapist today was she mentioned Enya's temper tantrums are mostly an age thing. All that I described she seemed to find pretty normal for a 2 year old.

Her advice was to try talk it out with Enya, you know, ".... I know you are angry because the blocks won't go together, take a deep breath and lets try again together..." kind of thing. Another thing she suggested was to get her to stamp her foot rather than hit out or throw things- less destructive!

We've got a big week coming up next week again, all the dreaded 6 monthly appointments. We'll see the Neurologist for Enya's EEG check up (hopefully the last, please please) and the Eye guy (YUCK..please no glasses) for a check up of their retinas which they forgot to do at or last appointment. This time I'm taking the girls sunglasses with as knowing my luck we'll have brilliant sunshine after that appointment (medically dilated pupils and sunshine= very loud unhappy baby/toddler). We've also finally got the speech therapy appointment and our last regularly scheduled visit to the Preemie follow up clinic- any further appointments will require a referral from our paeditrician. This last appointment is a little bit scary as they are doing a LOOOONG test to determine exactly how delayed (if at all) Ciara and Enya are developmentally. I fear Enya might land up getting sent back to physio again as she still has a real beginners running gait but we will see what Dr L has to say.

Did I mention they can now jump with both feet in the air, Enya in paricular delights in jumping around until she falls onto her bottom- in essence jumping with joy. They have to earn points for that skill !?

25 Nov 2009

Temper temper

We have seen a lot of progress in the last few months since starting play therapy (really huge progress in fact!!) but we still have a slight temper management problem.

Enya when she gets frustrated becomes destructive. THe amount of anger and frustration her tiny body contains on these occasions astounds me, you can see her almost bursting with it. She starts to scream and then gets an evil twinkle in her eye and looks around for something to throw, push over or, in the worst cast if Ciara is the cause of her temper tantum, to bite. It is amazing you can see her looking around and then focusing in on the object that she is going to take her aggression out on. We tell her off (and yes when she bites she does get a tap as well) but what we really need is a more constructive/less damaging way for her to let out her frustrations.

I think I'm going to have a chat with the play therapist tomorrow if she has any useful ideas. I'd like to avoid things involving hitting or throwing objects!

Sweet little darling, butter wouldn't melt in her mouth

24 Nov 2009

Cheeks and bobby cars

(2nd post today)
And just because I can't resist posting more photos...

The response to where are your cheeks:


They each definitely have their own bobby car-they sorted this out between themselves with no parental input at all and are very posessive of them. Whoa betide she who climbs on the wrong car, she will be dealt with severely!!


Bobbycar conflab

St Martins Procession

(Better late than never)

St Martins Day (Nov 10th) is a big day in the lead up to Christmas here in Germany. It remembers St Martin who cut his cloak in half in the middle of winter to share it with a beggar. The children celebrate by making a lantern and then doing a singing procession through the streets, ending with a treat in the form of the sweetdough man I showed in the last post.

This year we decided to do two of these processions:
One with the playgroup which was unfortunately washed out hence we are sitting around a table to enjoy the dough men (in this case it was sugar pretzels). Yuo can however see some examples of the wonderfully crafted lanterns some other moms brought with.

The second was with JS and her daughter around their neighbourhood. This was fantastic as they even had a mounted "St Martin" and brass band to lead the procession. At the end of the walk they also had a bonfire to warm ourselves up on while we enjoyed the refreshments. It was just a pity it had been raining so hard that we had to cross a bog to reach the bonfire. The poor girls landed up getting stripped off before they were allowed anywhere near the car afterwards!
Sorry that the shot is a bit out of focus it was the only shot that halfway came out from that evening. You can see the girls handprint lanterns that we crafted in the playgroup though.

23 Nov 2009

long promised photos

So photos of the girls new room as promised with the new carpet and curtains, finally all completed. Z chose the carpet while I was still in Houston after Ciara climbed/fell out of bed and I think it is perfect. The girls love it and keep lying down on the carpet to snuggle into it, although the pile is not very long it is very soft.
play corner it looks like they have way too many toys!!

Enya's bed- this was originally Ciara's side but Ciara kept playing with the roller blinds (the strap is behind the curtains) when they were supposed to be sleeping so got bumped to the other side.

Ciara's bed nothing to play with here except for the curtains and those get tied into a knot to keep sticky paws off them!

As an extra surprise I thought I'd include another example of my daughters art work. A local bakery chain had an open day in their main factory to raise money for charity so we went along. One of the activities was to decorate these sweetdough St Martins Day figures- this was the result (with a little bit of parental assistance-mostly to keep them from eating all the smarties)

I know truly hideous, but I'm still proud of them!

20 Nov 2009


No real news everything remains the same.

I would love to post some of the lovely photos we've got recently but unfortunately a little monkey ran off with our external card drive and we can't find it, so I can't download any photos at all at this time.

19 Nov 2009


Everything remains in status quo.

Enya has developed a lovely phlegmy cough but remains her usual quirky happy self so we're not too worried. Ciara just has the permanant dribble from the nose and Z remains down for the count, hopefully he'll start feeling better soon!

The only positives are at least I'm still healthy (yet again the last man standing) and secondly the girls are sleeping later in the mornings (averaging 14 hours overnight).

We also finally got our speech therapy assessment, 5 months after we were referred. At the time we requested it, Enya was only eating lightly textured purees and maybe two or three bites of bread, everything else she would refuse. She has improved dramatically since then (tonight she ate a tuna salad tortilla-totally surprised me as we've never tried tuna before, nevermind a tortilla), but still tends to pocket food under her tongue and has a delayed swallow. This appointment would have been really helpful 6 months ago, now I'll be happy if we just get some advice how to encourage her to clear her mouth quicker.

18 Nov 2009

Too late too late..

Well having finally arranged for the girls to get the swine flu vaccination, I've had to cancel the appointment again today! The earliest appoinment we could get was for next week. In the meantime Z started getting sick on the weekend, the girls started about a day later with coughing and sniffles. The girls have been weathering this sickness really well, Z.... not so much. He finally went to the doc yesterday and was told he likely has H1N1 flu! What do you think are the chances that the girls started with something different within a day of him starting the flu! Oh well, we were nervous about the vaccinations anyway and now it is superfluous.

Now we just have to get Z back on his feet!

12 Nov 2009


This is the word of the day today!

At the end of our road is the main thoroughway and the hospital (where I used to work) is also only 2 km away, this all means we hear the ambulance sirens multiple times a day. Today when it was going almost continually around lunch time I pointed the siren out to the terrible two and that was that! "Ambulance" and "Bebah bebah" were being shouted everytime they heard the siren. Ciara and Enya know what an ambulance is as we watched a next door neighbour being loaded into one a few days ago (we don't know these neighbours but I don't think it was too serious as they didn't blue light it away and I've seen the ambulance there a few times in the past too so I'd say it's a chronic condition).

I think the next vehicle they need to learn about is the police car though, they can then be my lookouts. Is it just me or does anyone else always feel guilty when they see a police car behind them? I mean apart from bending the speed laws slightly I've never broken a law, but when I see a police car behind me I get twitchy.

10 Nov 2009

I'm back

So it's been a while!! I thought I better put something onto screen before I forget everything that has been going on.

I not only survived the time without my girls and Z of course but I had a really relaxing enjoyable time too. This was the holiday that I never got in June, now we just need to get Z to have one too! That is not to say that I wasn't VERY happy to come again as I did miss my family a lot. But I'm much less stressed now and am enjoying the girls so much more and am not as quick to reach critical mass as before the holiday.

The girls had a fantastic time with their dad and granny and I was amazed at all the new stuff they learnt while I was away. Ciara has really blossomed speech wise, is now coming out with things like "I wuv you" when we say it to her first and "A-B-C" (to get them to let us brush their teeth we now have to sing the alaphabet song). They are both counting to 3 as well and some of the later numbers they know what follows i.e. they won't say "seven" instead they say "eight". Enya has also discovered a new game called cave. As the name implys it means huddling under a blanket with her in the dark and that is all there is to the game, but she will run to you and ask to play it multiple times a day. Ciara hates cave but Enya keeps asking her to play too (come here ...sista... come here), needless to say Ciara ignores her when she is under the blanket. They are also both finally saying the name Ciara, although it is still hit and miss if they apply it to Ciara herself! Both will still sometimes point to Ciara if we ask where Enya is.

As expected C and E were a bit stand offish when they met me at the airport but I had been expecting that, as they are the same with Z when he has been away a few days for work. Luckily they thawed over the rest of the day and by evening it was back to normal. I also was amazed by the girls faces having not seen them for over a week, suddenly I could see my sisters in the shape of Enya's eyes and Z's family in Ciara's face- it was almost as though for the first half hour I was seeing them for the first time again.

I must also admit I have a really wonderful husband who also took the rest of the week off (last week) so I could get over my jet lag. Am I imaging it or does jet lag get worse with age? It took me pretty much the entire week to stop needing an afternoon nap and I'm still struggling to get to bed at a normal time.

I have some lovely photos from while I was away but I'm still waiting for a photoshop to be loaded onto my new computer (thank you very much sister iamza) so it will have to wait until later in the week.